Stories on Stones

Stories on Stones

At a time like this, when half the world is on lockdown because of the pandemic, when civility and decency and the very foundations of democracy seem at risk in the face of racist populism and rabid know-nothingness, when the planes are grounded and we can barely venture out of our houses, when our ‘advanced’ [...]

What to do in a lock-down?

What to do in a lock-down?

What to do in a lock-down? This is a question to myself, you'll be glad to hear, not another of those claims to instant expertise, sunny wisdom, righteous outrage or uniquely personal angst or fear that seem to be spreading around the globe with the speed and virulence of, well, a Coronavirus or a Donald [...]

Rosendal, Eastern Free State – Four Black-and-White Photographs

Rosendal, Eastern Free State – Four Black-and-White Photographs

Rosendal, in the Eastern Free State, is a small village with big skies. Rob and I drove down on New Year's Day, from Johannesburg, taking our lives in our hands over the last twenty or thirty kilometres of dangerously potholed roads, a legacy of Ace Magashule's thieving and mendacious premiership of the province. Then you [...]

Plaisance, from the road to Coupiac

Plaisance, from the road to Coupiac

My son's in-laws, the Thompsons, give 'Plaisance' as their address in France, but actually they live a few kilometres outside the village, on a narrow road that hugs the hillside above a lovely valley. The village itself sits astride a three-way junction, which might create the impression that it is quite large, but in reality [...]

Where sheep do graze, Aveyron

Where sheep do graze, Aveyron

Aveyron is Rocquefort country, the country where Lacaune sheep crowd together, grazing, on the steepest of green-clad hillsides. We saw these in the valley far below, from the road out of Plaisance, as we made our way to the plateau above en route to Albi. As you will see, I have processed one of these [...]

Ambialet – two views, in colour

Ambialet – two views, in colour

I made a choice, in my previous post, to present 'Bathers, Ambialet' in black-and-white: the colour version was attractive - all greens and browns and ripples of light - but at one level, just a pretty picture, whereas the monochrome image, I felt, was more ambiguous, more resonant, and graphically stronger. These pictures of Ambialet, [...]

La Fon del Mas, Aveyron

La Fon del Mas, Aveyron

I will not tell you what the rude son of our hosts - he was not with us in France, but his dad related the story with much relish - called the tiny hamlet of La Fon del Mas, which you pass through on the way down the hill from the Thompson's house, below, into [...]

Dusk, Kalk Bay – the follow-on

Dusk, Kalk Bay – the follow-on

Interviewer: Last time we spoke, you ducked out of answering questions about this image. Perhaps this time you'd oblige? (Click on images to enlarge) Me: Ok. Ambient light. Interviewer: Ambient light? Me: Yup. I don't have a controlled light environment where I work, so the ambient light has a big effect on how I perceive [...]

Dusk, Kalk Bay

Dusk, Kalk Bay

Interviewer: Dusk at Kalk Bay - tell me about this image. (PS click on the image to enlarge). Me: No. Not right now, anyway. Rob and I are getting packed and heading out shortly to spend the long weekend - it's the Youth Day weekend, here in South Africa - in the Magaliesberg. Interviewer: Ah! [...]

Black and White Landscapes – Plains of Camdeboo and Valley of Desolation

Black and White Landscapes – Plains of Camdeboo and Valley of Desolation

Set against the vast and empty Plains of Camdeboo, abutted by the Valley of Desolation and surrounding mountains, the small Karoo town of Graaff-Reinet seems dwarfed, vulnerable, a fragile human outpost, more so when storm clouds gather. Yet there is a beauty in the landscape, something stark and wonderful. Storm Clouds over Graaff-Reinet Valley of [...]